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Polk County Markers
Wisconsin (Polk County), Luck — 173 — Danish Dairy Cooperative
On March 28, 1885 one of Wisconsin's first incorporated creameries was organized as the Luck Creamery Company. The "Organization Artikler" were published in Danish in the Polk County Press on November 18, 1885, and printed in English about a month later on December 12. The seven Danish emigrants declared that only members of the corporation could own stock in it, and the sale of one hundred sixty shares at $15 per share was authorized. The first creamery was built eight-tenths of a mile . . . — Map (db m14576) HM
Wisconsin (Polk County), Luck — 94 — First Danish Seminary
On February 13, 1887, the Danish Evangelical Lutheran Church in America established its first seminary on this site with Pastor Thorvald Helveg as President, assisted by Pastor Jens Pederson and a layman, J.P. Petersen. In 1888 Pastor P.S. Vig succeeded Pastor Pedersen. Eleven to fifteen students attended each year of its operation. Factional strife within the synod forced the closing of the seminary in 1892. — Map (db m68703) HM
Wisconsin (Polk County), Osceola — Cascade Falls
On May 14, 1884, William Kent and 12 companions stopped on their journey from St. Croix Falls to explore a creek that rippled through the glen and emptied into the St. Croix River. A beautiful 25-foot waterfall burst upon their vision and they immediately recognized its potential. They staked claim on the waterfall, the glen and the land that later became the Village of Osceola. Located in the heart of downtown Osceola, Cascade Falls is as alluring and picturesque today, as it was when the . . . — Map (db m17546) HM
Wisconsin (Polk County), Osceola — Geiger Brewery
From 1867 to 1878 master brewer Veit Geiger operated the Geiger Brewery at this location. The artesian springs assured an abundant source of pure water, and the nearby caves provided a constant 50-degree storage cellar. The brewery, was just one of many pieces of Osceola history steeped in water resources. The St, Croix River and its tributaries ferried the area's rich harvest of timber and grain to market. It transported people and commercial goods aboard a fleet of steam-driven riverboats. it . . . — Map (db m17699) HM
Wisconsin (Polk County), Osceola — Osceola
First settled by William Kent in 1844 when he came looking for lumber for ship masts. Built a lumber mill powered by Osceola Creek. Other industries followed along with a flour mill in 1852. First called Leroy in honor of Leroy Hubbard the first white man to die here. Later changed to Osceola Mills and finally around 1900 to Osceola after the Indian chief and the first boat built in the St. Croix Valley. — Map (db m17551) HM
Wisconsin (Polk County), Osceola — Osceola "Soo" Depot
This depot was built in 1916 replacing a smaller wooden structure that was destroyed when two engines collided in front of it. Constructed of red, wire cut brick with white sandstone trim, the depot was very modern for its time, boasting both a men's and women's waiting room, a spacious station agent's office and a large freight room with "warm room" attached. The tracks to the north of the depot were part of the original Minneapolis, St. Paul and Sault Ste. Marie line, that later became known . . . — Map (db m17591) HM
Wisconsin (Polk County), Osceola — Osceola Bluff
For thousands of years, this limestone bluff has been an area landmark. Chippewa Indians camped here along the "ginseng trail" that stretched from Balsam Lake in Polk County to New Richmond in St. Croix County. Overlooking the St. Croix National Scenic Riverway, the bluff is a resting place for resident Bald Eagles. White-tail deer walk its trails. Hepaticas, dogtooth violets and trillium grow in profusion. Pictured in this 1887 photo is the Soo Line dance pavilion that once stood on the bluff. . . . — Map (db m17667) HM
Wisconsin (Polk County), Osceola — The Mills
By 1845, the first sawmill was erected in Osceola. It stood two stories high and was capable of cutting 10,000 board feet every 24 hours. Approximately 35 million board feet were cut during its existence. It was located on Osceola Creek near the shores of the St. Croix River. In the fall of 1853, the first wheat raised in Polk County was ground in the Kent Brothers' new gristmill. The mill built above Cascade Falls, stood four stories tall and was propelled by an overshot wheel driven by water. . . . — Map (db m17554) HM
Wisconsin (Polk County), Saint Croix Falls — 504 — Gaylord Nelson
Gaylord Anton Nelson (1916–2005), known worldwide as the founder of Earth Day, was the son of a country doctor and a nurse. Born the third of four children on June 4, 1916, at Clear Lake, Wisconsin, 28 miles from here, Nelson canoed the Namekagon and St. Croix rivers as a boy. Plans announced in 1964 for a new power plant on the St. Croix River spurred Nelson, a U.S. Senator from Wisconsin at the time, to believe the riverway deserved federal protection. Although the power plant was . . . — Map (db m14796) HM
Wisconsin (Polk County), Saint Croix Falls — Interstate Park Centennial
On September 20, 1900, through the dedicated efforts of local citizens, the State of Wisconsin acquired land here along the Dalles of the St. Croix River, officially establishing Interstate Park as Wisconsin's oldest state park. The year 2000 marks the Centennial of Interstate Park and the Wisconsin State Park System. Dedicated September 20, 2000 Tommy G. Thompson, Governor — Map (db m28687) HM
Wisconsin (Polk County), Saint Croix Falls — River Spirit2007 Bronze Sculpture by Julie Ann Stage — Number 1 of 11
The city of St. Croix Falls commissioned local sculptor, Julie Ann Stage, to create a monument in bronze which would embody the poetry and natural beauty of the St. Croix River Valley. River Spirit, unveiled on July 29th of 2007, is a focal point for the city’s cultural, arts and historic district. Limited-Edition bronzes of River Spirit developed the program to create proceeds supporting arts and culture in the community. Casting of River Spirit by Casting Creations. — Map (db m18115) HM
Wisconsin (Polk County), Saint Croix Falls — St. Croix Falls Lions Park
Lions Park marks the site of an historic battle between the Chippewa Indians and their traditional enemies, the Fox and Sioux. Circa 1770, the two war parties met on the portage area below in a fierce fight that raged among the crags and crevices of the Dalles. According to Indian tales of the battle, "The voices of the war chiefs resounded above the rattle of the musketry and yells of their warriors as they urged them to stand their ground." Lead by Chief Waub-O-Jeeg, the Chippewa were . . . — Map (db m18113) HM
Wisconsin (Polk County), Saint Croix Falls — 132 — The Battle of St. Croix Falls
Here at the head of St. Croix Falls in about 1770, a war party of Chippewas led by Chief Wau-bo-jeeg prepared for battle against their traditional enemies, the Fox and Sioux. The two parties met on the portage below this point in a fierce and valor­ous fight. As each side advanced and fell back, the dead and wounded warriors lit­tered the crags and crevices of the dalles where the St. Croix River forces a passage through the narrow rocks. Many others plunged to a watery grave in the . . . — Map (db m14421) HM
Wisconsin (Polk County), Saint Croix Falls — Thompson–Boughton Mill1878 – 1914
This millstone is the last remnant of the flour mill that operated on the river bank a half-mile to the south. Power was provided by the stream that now tumbles down a rocky slope on the north boundary of the Wisconsin Interstate Park. Pieces of chert, a quartz-like stone mined in Germany, are tightly secured by a metal band to form this millstone. Four feet in diameter, the mill stone weighs about 1,500 pounds. Sponsored by the St. Croix Falls Historical Society In Cooperation . . . — Map (db m18171) HM
Wisconsin (Polk County), Saint Croix Falls — 453 — Where Are The Falls of the St. Croix?
The Falls of the St. Croix River, a series of turbulent cascades that dropped 55 feet in less than six miles, were impounded in the early 1900s by this hydroelectric dam. The potential manufacturing power of the falls drew developers who settled this town in 1838. A lumbering capital that was to center on a sawmill here never materialized, as disputes over ownership of the property bound the venture in litigation and inept management. The rich harvest of pine floated to sawmills down river as . . . — Map (db m14223) HM
Wisconsin (Polk County), Saint Croix Falls — Where are the Falls?
A series of rapids once cascaded 55 feet over six miles down this section of river. Canoes had to be portaged and boats could not travel upriver. The largest "falls" tumbled 20 feet over 100 yards. They provided a natural source of power for sawmills and encouraged the growth of two towns - St. Croix Falls and Taylors Falls. Construction began in 1904 on a hydroelectric dam that finally subdued the river. As a result, all but the last stretch of rapids (below the Highway 8 bridge) are . . . — Map (db m78664) HM
Wisconsin (Polk County), St. Croix Falls — 143 — State Park Movement in WisconsinInterstate Park
In 1878 the Legislature set aside 50,000 acres of “Public Trust Fund Lands” as a “State Park.” These were scattered timbered lands located in Lincoln, Iron, Vilas and Oneida Counties. Because no effort was made to develop these lands, the Legislature of 1897 rescinded its previous actions and during subsequent years the lands were sold.

Many Wisconsin citizens at that time believed that areas of state-wide significance should be acquired for the use and . . . — Map (db m74352) HM

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